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Propulsion Engineer (Crew Starship)

life insurance, parental leave, paid holidays, 401(k), retirement plan, stock options
United States, Texas, Brownsville
Jul 02, 2023

SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.


After 50 years, humankind will once again return to the surface of the moon using SpaceX's new vehicle, Crew Starship (also known as HLS or the Human Landing System) - this time for good. Starship will usher in the next era of crewed spaceflight and exploration, ultimately allowing us to establish permanent communities on the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

The Propulsion Engineer role is responsible for developing the fluid systems to enable high performance and highly manufacturable interplanetary vehicles. This role will be responsible for designing, analyzing, and building a wide range of fluid systems for the Crew Starship vehicle.

The role includes sizing vehicle fluid systems, engaging in detailed mechanical design, performing structural analysis, and driving the manufacturing and build flow of parts and systems. Systems will include high pressure gas storage & control, cryogenic fluid management, attitude control systems, and thermal control systems. The Propulsion Systems Engineer will also develop the concept of operations for their systems, from acceptance testing to in-flight operations.


  • Perform fluids system sizing analysis to determine basic system requirements
  • Transform system requirements into hardware concepts and trade implementation and architecture options
  • Design a range of pressurized and unpressurized structures and parts to enable system capability, creating original CAD models and prints
  • Perform hand calculations and structural analysis of components to ensure survivability
  • Drive the first builds of flight hardware and work with a manufacturing team to establish a production line
  • Coordinate and execute development, qualification, and acceptance testing of flight hardware
  • Lead design reviews internally and with suppliers and customers (e.g. NASA)
  • Exemplify technical excellence and be accountable for your work


  • Bachelor's or advanced degree in an engineering discipline
  • Hands-on project experience with fluid and mechanical systems
  • 1+ years of mechanical or fluids design, analysis, or build experience (student project team and internship experience qualifies)


  • 3+ years of professional experience in the field of aerospace/mechanical engineering
  • Experience with fluid dynamics, finite element, or related computer-based modeling
  • Experience with pressurized components (valves, regulators, tubes, pipes, etc.)
  • Experience with selection of materials considering engineering properties, manufacturing, and fluid compatibility
  • Experience with finite element analysis (FEA) software packages and CAD packages
  • Technical knowledge of human spacecraft systems and operations
  • Leadership experience on an engineering or project team


  • Ability to work extended hours and weekends as necessary
  • Schedule varies depending on site operational needs; flexibility required
  • Ability to travel to remote sites in Texas and Florida
  • Ability to pass Air Force background checks for Cape Canaveral


Pay range:
Propulsion Engineer/Level 1: $95,000.00 - $115,000.00/per year
Propulsion Engineer/Level 2: $110,000.00 - $130,000.00/per year

Your actual level and base salary will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may vary based on the following considerations: job-related knowledge and skills, education, and experience.

Base salary is just one part of your total rewards package at SpaceX. You may also be eligible for long-term incentives, in the form of company stock, stock options, or long-term cash awards, as well as potential discretionary bonuses and the ability to purchase additional stock at a discount through an Employee Stock Purchase Plan. You will also receive access to comprehensive medical, vision, and dental coverage, access to a 401(k) retirement plan, short & long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation & will be eligible for 10 or more paid holidays per year.


  • To conform to U.S. Government export regulations, applicant must be a (i) U.S. citizen or national, (ii) U.S. lawful, permanent resident (aka green card holder), (iii) Refugee under 8 U.S.C. * 1157, or (iv) Asylee under 8 U.S.C. * 1158, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR .

SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX's Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.